The Sargasso Vortex is an area in the abyss located far to the west of Lutia and the Rubbards. The vortex itself is several hundred miles in diameter, and is named for its blood or rust-like red color. While its origins are unknown, the vortex carries a reputation of becoming a graveyard for any ships that dare stray too close.
Origins of the name Sargasso
The origins of the name Sargasso come from the legends of antiquity. Those legends speak of a time when ancient fishermen and sailors sailed upon open water. In this water, there was a species of seaweed known as Sargassum. This seaweed was muddy red in color, and notorious for becoming lodged in the steering and rudders of passing ships. The seaweed was generally found only in one region of the sea – one notorious for lost vessels.
This region laid at the convergence of several strong and treacherous ocean currents. These currents funneled in refuse and wreckage from the neighboring seas along with a unique mixture of nutrients and soils. The Sargassum grew accustomed to these unique conditions and began to flourish. The seaweed became so prevalent in the area that it became known as the Sargasso sea.
While countless vessels have been lost since the great war, every so often rumors of those who have survived the abyss can be heard. One such survivor is said to have survived in the abyss for several weeks. When he finally managed to limp his way to the nearest service dock, the tales he told the technicians were shocking.
He claimed he had been stranded in a place bathed in dim, rust colored light. There was no wind, and the air was filled with a dense mist. Confused and disoriented, he came out on to the deck in an attempt to get his bearings. When he peered out into the haze however, he saw the hulls of countless ships as far as he could see. The ships had been enveloped in a tangled mass of rust colored growth, and they hung silently in the bathyal sky. So much did the merchant’s tales match the ancient ones, that the name Sargasso stuck.
While tales of dragons and demons are difficult to verify, there have been several verified sightings of the vortex in the western abyss. Tales from the great war mention an area as wide as the horizon that coursed and boiled in a muddy hue. The region itself is even notated on the navigational charts of the merchant’s guild.
The origins and cause of the Sargasso vortex are unknown. Reports from the great war mention wind speeds of several hundred miles per hour along the outer edges. The total diameter of the vortex is several hundred miles wide, while its depth has yet to be measured.
The most interesting characteristic about the vortex however, is its effect on a ship’s propulsion systems. Reports speak of strange resonance and harmonics from the ship’s crystals. These frequencies increase as one falls deeper into the vortex. Upon reaching some specific depth, the crystals achieve a sort of buoyancy, and the ship will float in the sky as if upon the surface of an ocean.
It becomes increasingly difficult to maintain altitude upon entering the vortex, even for a fully functional ship. Once caught in the Sargasso’s grasp, there is but one hope for escape. Assuming you can find your way to it, one must push through the savage winds that border the vortex. Should your ship survive the onslaught, it may be possible to make your way back to the open sky… Assuming you do not catch the eye of an abyssal dragon along the way.